Accellis Technology Group attended the ABA TECHSHOW 2014 last week in Chicago. While most exhibitors attend primarily to promote their product and sign a few clients, this really wasn’t our main goal. For us, it’s a great way to stay current on new trends and products, as well as to ensure we understand the technology needs of today’s lawyers. It’s also one of the few times throughout the year we get to speak face-to-face with our partners. Computers, no matter how valuable, cannot replace the intimacy of a face-to-face conversation. With that being said, below are a few takeaways from the show.
Killer Products & Features
We got to see the new Fujistu’s SV600, a wireless, overhead scanner that can scan books, magazines and 3-D objects. We were absolutely blown away. It’s surprisingly simple to operate and even scans pages while you’re turning them with your hand. The Lawyerist’s Sam Glover wrote a nice post about it here.
One of the products we’re most excited to try is WordRake, an add-on for Microsoft Word that helps you write more simple, powerful statements by removing or replacing unnecessary or incorrect grammatical errors that Microsoft’s spell check doesn’t catch. We’ll be testing it shortly and will post a review. Sign up here to get notified when we do.
Worldox made handful of announcements at the show and over the past few months about their document management software, including:
- A new Worldox for iOS app that allows users to access their documents from their iPad or iPhone.
- Integration with Sony’s Digital Paper, making it easier for firms to go paperless. Worldox users can now access documents, upload handwritten notes or annotated documents, and share with others quickly and securely.
- Integration with Cannon scanners allowing users to scan directly to Worldox and enter the key metadata information right from the scanner. This has been designed to mirror the Worldox desktop so users will be able to access their quick profiles, bookmarks and favorites directly from the scanner.
- Full Mac OS integration with version GX3. The Mac version of Worldox can be paired with GX3 hosted on premise or the Worldox Cloud.
Ron Collins, President of Amicus Attorney, discussed the need for “intelligent document assembly” while unveiling their new document assembly feature in the Cloud product. Firms can now generate custom templates using if/then statements tailored to their legal documents moving past the traditional ‘fill in the blank’ format. This feature is available for both document templates and email messages.
Shout-Outs To Some Friendly Folks…
Quick shout-out to the guys at Inertia for stopping by to chat. We’re currently reviewing their analytics and reporting tools which enable lawyers using Amicus Attorney to make data-driven decisions. We’ll be posting that here too. Sign up here to get notified when we do.
We owe a big thanks to Jenny Stevens for adding us to the Best Swag from ABA TECHSHOW list this year! We were impressed at the amount of stuff exhibitors gave away. From chargers to pocket knives to t-shirts – the value of these goodies combined could probably offset the cost of attending (well, maybe).
We got to catch up with our Partners and Co-Sponsors, Lawtopia, this year. Special thanks to Robert Grey for helping us around the exhibit hall.
We chatted with the folks from the Legal Talk Network, a network of legal professionals discussing important issues in today’s legal industry. Their podcasts are definitely worth throwing on in the car if you get a chance.
Observations Around the Exhibit Hall
It’s hard to ignore Clio’s growing presence year after year. With their recent 20 million dollar finance deal, they probably have a pretty big budget to play with. As a fellow vendor and a marketing guru myself, I’m always impressed with their fantastic booth and advertising. Clio does a great job showcasing their company culture and we offer a tip of the hat to them.
As an exhibitor, we’re basically forced to select and pay for a booth for next year’s show PRIOR to the 2014 show even starting. Do any other vendors find this mildly annoying?
The dress code for the show is getting more casual every year. Stuffy black business suites are being replaced by t-shirts and sport coats with jeans. Not that this is extremely relevant to our topic, but nevertheless, something to note for those not sure what to wear next year.
The keynote presentation this year was probably more beneficial for us as a vendor than it was for the actual attendees. Nevertheless, Google Venture’s Rick Klau offered some insights on decision making and leadership. Some of his key points were:
- Any decision that is not based on data is a guess.
- The customer is sometimes wrong. You need to be the expert.
- Ideas are easy. Execution is hard.
- Your idea does not set you apart – your ability to execute on that idea is.
- If you’re going to make a mistake, make a new one.
- We should fear small successes. They can be distractions from more important, ambitious goals.
Overall, the ABA TECHSHOW is highly regarded as one of the best legal technology events of the year. If you attend next year, we’d love to chat! If you can’t make it, following the #ABATECHSHOW on Twitter is the best way to find out what’s happening and what people are saying.